Lois Lowry's Blog
Blueberries for Sal (or whomever)
Well it is blueberry season. last year we did not get a good crop, but this is the Year of the Blueberry, and this past weekend we had blueberry pancakes and blueberry pie, the berries straight from the field. This is - first (clikc to enlarge) - a photograph of my grandsons, picking (mostly eating) blueberries in a earileir summer; and also a painting by my friend Middy Thomas (who illustrates the Gooney Bird books) of the same boys, same blueberry field. It hangs in the room we call The Fold (family room, office, library, den).
And looking at these does make me remeber Robert McCLosky's "Blueberries for Sal" about a little girl picking with her mom, and around the hill, a bear cub similarly with his mom; and the two little ones get mixed up and with the wrong mothers, if I am remembering it correctly. We have bears here (and there are moose droppings in the field, though I have not yet SEEN the moose, and would love to) so we are sharing the berries for sure; that is what life is like in rural Maine.
So many children's books come to my mind on a day-to-day basis. "Miss Rumphius" by Barbara Cooney, who also (like McCLosky) lived here...I think of that book every time my lupine is in bloom.
Here's another painting by Middy; this hangs in an upstairs hall, and is of a friend's dog, the long-dead black lab Elsa.
Middy is currently working on illustrations for a new Gooney Bird book in progress. She called me yesterday just to ask: "Is Gooney wearing underpants on her head in chapter 4?" But I couldn't remember. We both have to go back to the manuscript to check.
In the new GB book, the children in Mrs. Pidgeon's class are learning to write poetry. I've been in e-mail corresondence with Lee Bennett Hopkins, an old friend and poetry expert, and this coming Sunday, Paul Janeczko is comig for brunch...anorher poetry expert and all-around good guy, and he lives not far away.
I wonder ... if I get up and go out at 5 AM or even earlier .. I might see the moose. And what would happen if I give him a muffin.